An expert system supervisor of a flotation circuit

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 85, No. 959, 1992

Robert P. Edwards, Process Technology Division, Brenda Mines Ltd., Kelowna, British Columbia, and Andrew L. Mular, Department of Mining and Mineral Process Engineering, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia.

The operation of flotation circuits is often regarded as a combination of art and science. Expert systems offer a method by which the art may be captured and supervisory control of flotation circuits fully realized. Operating knowledge, the art, can be consistently employed to enhance regulatory control through the judicious application of an expert system. Using an expert system, a supervisory control routine was developed, and successfully implemented, in the copper flotation circuit at Brenda Mines Ltd.The expert system ran in conjunction with regulatory PI controllers on a personal computer. The expert system received assays via an on-stream analyzer and adjusted regulatory loop set points as required in real-time. From its commissioning in November, 1989, to the end of the mine's operation in June, 1990, it was enthusiastically embraced by the operators and attained operating levels superior to those achievable manually.
Keywords: Computer applications, Expert systems, Flotation circuits, Mineral processing.